“See you in about an hour and a half honey.” Zsuzsa says as she makes her way to the front door.
“Bye daddy!” adds Mila.
“Okay.” I reply.
Zsuzsa opens the front door, closes it and they promptly leave, leaving me alone with the baby.
Wait. What? She’s left me alone with the baby! Why? Why would she do that to me? Where have they gone? What is this treachery?
I frantically scramble for my mobile phone and try to call her. No answer. I send her a WhatsApp message.
“Where have you gone?”
I anxiously wait. Several minutes pass that feel like decades. Finally, my phone vibrates.
“Mila’s ballet class. I told you! Don’t worry. I’ve pumped Lola full of milk. She probably won’t wake up until I’m back.”
It’s that one word, “probably” that I don’t like. It’s so flaky. So blaise. So much like a Spanish builder. I’ve been stung by the word “probably” so many times in my life, but I’m on to it now. “Yeah, the leak is PROBABLY fixed.” “This car? As good as new...PROBABLY.” “Remain will PROBABLY win.” “This meat is PROBABLY not off.” “You PROBABLY don’t have haemorrhoids.” Probably, probably, probably. Well you know what ‘probably’? Why don’t you just probably cock off you bastard!
Cautiously I approach Lola’s bed, tip-toeing so as not to make a sound, because as we all know, babies can sleep peacefully by a speaker at a Megadeath concert, but the tiniest squeak of a floorboard, not so much. I peer in to her bed, holding my breath and trying my hardest to prevent my heart from beating in order to create a soundless sanctuary that NASA would be envious of.
Two unbelievably alert eyes stare back at me.
Oh fuckety fuck.
Realisation sets in that I am home alone with a wide awake baby and no milky nipples with which to pacify. Must stay calm. Must think. Must make Lola sleepy.
I curse my dormant nipples, but then remember a game that I used to play whilst on the underground on the way to work in London. It was a game that involved me staring as many strangers in the eyes as possible, while yawning extravagantly to try and make them yawn. After several years I had become a fairly skilled exponent of yawn transference, with my record for a morning commute being twenty one yawns.
I lock eyes with the infantile subject of my yawn attack, take a moment to get in to ‘the zone’, and then, while not once breaking eye-contact, produce a yawn of biblical, epic proportions. Take that small baby! But Lola just stares back at me, stubbornly refusing to give in. Ah. I see. A worthy opponent. The force is strong with this one. Her yawn resistance admirable for one so minuscule.
I have another brainwave. 70’s disco! Oh yes! Lola loves 70’s disco! A fact that was discovered only last week when dancing with her to The Copacabana. She loved it! So much so that she drifted off in to a contented sleep. Since then we’ve been through a raft of 70’s floor fillers, each and every one delighting little Lola and usually resulting in sleep.
“Alexa! Play 70’s disco!”
“Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.”
Oh yes. The Bee-Gees! One of Lola’s absolute favourites! I pick Lola up and we begin to dance.
“Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive.”
Nearly an hour and a half later and the front door opens. Zsuzsa and Mila enter to the scene of Lola and I dancing to Disco Inferno.
“Burn baby burn. Burn that mother down. Burn baby burn. Disco inferno!”
Zsuzsa smiles sweetly.
“Hey honey. Everything alright?”
I gaze at my beloved wife like a man stranded on a desert island for years gazing at a ship.
“She wouldn’t sleep”, I reply, disco sweat dripping from my brow.
Zsuzsa walks over, takes Lola from my hands and pops her on to a soporific nipple. I watch on as Lola’s eyes almost instantly close, a strange longing for my own nipples to begin leaking milk creeping over me as I see how easily our little lady is pacified.
“She wouldn’t sleep.” I repeat, fatigue fuelled delirium setting in.
“Did you give her the milk that I left in the fridge?” says Zsuzsa nonchalantly.
“The milk. There’s milk in the fridge. I told you.”
“You didn’t tell me.”
“I did! I did tell you! Last night!”
“I did honey! At least I think I probably did.”
And there you have it. The end game from my old, Moriarty like nemesis, the word ‘probably’.
As Disco Inferno peters out, I stand there gentle swaying. Just another deliriously tired, disco dancing, dormant nippled dad.
I might put that on a t-shirt.